Japanese Whisky

Suntory Yamazaki 12 YearMuch like how Champagne is sparkling white wine from Champagne, France, scotch is whisky produced in Scotland. When it’s produced anywhere else, it’s known as whisky (or whiskey in the United States). Since whisky is distilled fermented mash (like beer) aged in barrels, it’s not surprising to learn that many geographies produce whisky. Much like how the varied Scotches have different characteristics based on geography, from the water they use to the barrles, from the way the wheat is dried to how much the barrels are roasted, geography plays a big role in the final flavor.

That’s why I’m eager to dry a Japanese whisky. They’ve grown in popularity to give sake, the country’s best known alcoholic beverage, a run for its money. I’ve seen Suntory’s Yamazaki brand in stores lately but I was surprised to learn they’ve been in business for over a hundred years! In fact, the founder of Suntory, Shinjiro Torii, hired a distiller, Masataka Taketsuru, who studied in Scotland (Taketsuru later went on to found Nikka, another major producer).

I’m eager to give it a try!

Consumers pushing beyond sake to Japanese whiskies

[Associated Press]

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